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Harmony PA


Harmony was founded by the pietist Johann Georg Rapp and his Harmony Society in 1804. George Rapp came to America from Württemberg, Germany, in 1803 in search of land for his followers that was free from the religious persecution they faced in Germany. He was searching for a place for his followers to worship, farm and put into effect Rapp's communal religious teachings. In 1804, two groups of Harmonites purchased a tract of land in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

They formally established the Harmony Society in 1805 and lived in Pennsylvania for about 10 years before selling the Harmony property in 1814 to Abraham Ziegler, a Mennonite, and moving west to Indiana Territory, where they built the town of Harmony on the Wabash River (now New Harmony, Indiana). In 1824, they moved back to Pennsylvania, this time to Economy (now Ambridge). The settlements were economically successful, producing many goods in a clothing factory, a sawmill, a tannery, and from their vineyards and distillery.

There was aslo a hotel in Harmony. In Economy, the group aided the construction of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, established the Economy Savings Institution and the Economy Brick Works, and operated the Economy Oil Company, Economy Planing Mill, Economy Lumber Company, and eventually donated some land in Beaver Falls for the construction of Geneva College. In 1869, Mennonite craftsmen built the stone wall around the Harmonite cemetery in Harmony with a unique revolving stone door.



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